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Waiting for Food: Restaurant Placemat Drawings

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So what’s R. (for Robert) Crumb been up to since he announced that he was fleeing to France in the final frames of Crumb, the hit docudementary about him by Terry Zwigoff? Well, A Year in Provence this ain’t. But such is the artist’s post-film fame that even Crumb’s artistic crumbs (or rather the scribblings under his crumbs) are now deemed bookworthy. Crumb doodled these 77 pages of drawings on the paper place mats from restaurants in his new hometown of Sauve, France. Those fans hungry for his customary id-packed fare will be disappointed by many of the sketches in Waiting for Food: Restaurant Placemat Drawings. More than one quarter of them are tame images of the artist’s boring-looking fellow patrons. Still, there are plenty of examples of Crumb at his best: an alien sporting a farmer’s hat and demanding ice cream, and three dozen or so tortured, nonsensical creatures that make us smile even as we scratch our heads in puzzlement. Yeah, we’ll take his table scraps. B+